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July 3, 2013

Appeal of armed robbery to be heard Friday

GREENVILLE — A state appeals court is scheduled this week to consider the case of a Commerce man, sentenced last fall to a lengthy term in prison after his probation in connection with a 2010 armed robbery was revoked.

The Sixth Court of Appeals in Texarkana is set to receive briefs Friday regarding Larry Donnell Clark Jr.

Clark pleaded guilty in August 2011 to a charge of aggravated robbery with deadly a weapon and was placed on 10 years of deferred adjudication probation, was fined $1,500 and was ordered to complete 180 hours of community service with restitution to be determined. Clark was also sentenced to 180 days in jail, but was granted 180 days time served, as he had been in custody for more than six months.

Deferred adjudication probation carries no finding of guilt, although those defendants who are found to have violated a deferred probation are subject to being sentenced to the maximum punishment.

Prosecutors sought to revoke Clark’s probation, as he had used marijuana, failed to pay his fines and court costs and had failed to appear before his probation officer between March and July of last year.

During an Oct. 17, 2012 hearing in the 196th District Court, Judge Steve Tittle sentenced Clark to 30 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice-Institutional Division. As a deadly weapon was found to have been used in the commission of the robbery, Clark would have to spend at least half of the sentence, or 15 years, in prison before he can be considered eligible for parole.

Parvis Raynell Clark Jr., also of Commerce, pleaded guilty in August 2011 and was also placed on probation.

The pair were alleged to have used a handgun to threaten a female victim while in the course of committing a robbery in Commerce on Dec. 22, 2010.

The Sixth Court of Appeals, through its three justices, decides civil and criminal appeals from a 19 county district, including Hunt County.

Of cases appealed from trial courts to the fourteen Texas Courts of Appeal, more than 95 percent become final at the Court-of-Appeals level because they are not accepted by either of Texas’ superior courts.

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